The MoD web site has a feature article examining efforts being made by the UK Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) to implement the “British Comprehensive Approach” through the rebuilding and regeneration of Musa Qaleh, three months after British forces helped the Afghan National Army retake the town from the Taliban.
British soldiers from 5 SCOTS and the Household Cavalry conduct a ‘reassurance patrol’ while locals rebuild the main road.
It’s an entirely uncritical assessment, but nevertheless provides an insight into life in Musa Qaleh, and into British efforts in the region. The following is an extract:
Supporting Governor Salam, and key to the success of the British Comprehensive Approach, is the location of the PRT’s Stabilisation Advisor, Richard Jones, in the District Centre in Musa Qaleh. This is the first time that a member of the PRT has been deployed permanently to such a forward location. By being located in the town, Richard is able to assist and advise the Governor and his team on development and local governance initiatives:
“The Comprehensive Approach is really all about ensuring that all the elements of government necessary to rebuild and stabilise an area like Musa Qaleh fall into place,” he explained. “It is really a reflection of the complexity of conflict nowadays that you have to have the involvement of not just the military but also the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development.”
When asked about the achievements made in Musa Qaleh since December, Richard pointed to the opening of the town’s school as just one example of a success story:
“The school reopened here in the middle of February and has certainly been one of the most successful stories in terms of reconstruction and development.”
In contrast to the Taliban’s failed efforts to open madrassas in the town, the school project has received the unreserved support of the population and enjoys an attendance of some 850 children between the ages of six to sixteen learning everything from maths to English. Such is the thirst for knowledge that the children and teachers attend the school against the very real threat of intimidation from Taliban elements in outlying areas.
Many of the reconstruction projects in Musa Qaleh have created employment for the local population through the PRT supported ‘cash-for-work’ programme employing up to 150 people on a daily basis:
“One of the most successful projects that we have run is the ‘cash-for-work’ programme and this has taken some 350 members of the local community and employed them doing the sort of jobs that you would expect a local municipal or civil works department to undertake such as canal clearance, drainage clearance, rubbish collection and street sweeping,” Capt Adams added.
Read the full article here.
h/t: Peace Like a River